Quote of the Day
“Originally, believe it or not, Labor Day actually had something to do with showing respect for labor.
”Here’s how it happened: In 1894 Pullman workers, facing wage cuts in the wake of a financial crisis, went on strike — and Grover Cleveland deployed 12,000 soldiers to break the union. He succeeded, but using armed force to protect the interests of property was so blatant that even the Gilded Age was shocked. So Congress, in a lame attempt at appeasement, unanimously passed legislation symbolically honoring the nation’s workers.
“It’s all hard to imagine now ... that Congress would unanimously offer even an empty gesture of support for workers’ dignity. For the fact is that many of today’s politicians can’t even bring themselves to fake respect for ordinary working Americans.”
-- Paul Krugman, “Love for Labor Lost,” The New York Times, Sept. 2, 2013
Caught in the vise between high rent and low wages: a problem of the old Gilded Age and the new one.